To quantify the food resources available to P. poliocephalus in Melbourne and describe changes in their diversity and temporal availability
Type of Study:
Only 13 species recorded in the diet of P. poliocephalus occur naturally in the Melbourne area. An additional 87 species have been planted on Melbourne’s streets and there are at least 315 500 trees that are able to provide food for P. poliocephalus. Phenology records indicate that street trees have lengthened the temporal availability of food for P. poliocephalus. A period of natural food scarcity between May and August has been ameliorated by street trees which have provided nectar and a previously absent fruit resource. These changes are likely to be a major factor contributing to the recent range expansion of P. poliocephalus and the establishment of a permanent camp in Melbourne.
Landscape planners and local government now promote native plant species in preference to exotics to conserve water and provide habitat. Recognizing that the planting preferences of residents and governmentagencies will determine the vegetation of cities and consequently the fauna species that inhabit them is fundamental to the management of urban biodiversity.
Response variable :
Species composition and phenology of street trees
737,500 trees across 20 LGAs
Williams, N. D. G., Mcdonnell, M. J., Phelan, G. K., Keim, L. D., Van der Ree, R. (2006) Range expansion due to urbanization: Increased food resources attract Grey-headed Flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) to Melbourne. Austral Ecol. 31, 190–198.